Each February a group of people loosely termed ‘friends of UgandAid’ visit Uganda for two weeks. The purpose is not only to further the relationship with Nile Vocational Institute through its students and staff, but also to give people a broader introduction to this great country and most of all its lovely people.  Activities are varied and may be practical, educational or social but overall the aim is to engage with and serve the people of Uganda.

Dates – February 2018 (exact dates TBC)

Cost – flight cost (approx £450-500 ) plus £615

This includes:  hotels, transport, all food, water, laundry, Ugandan visa (£40), and £100 gift-aided contribution towards practical projects undertaken on the trip.

Not included: travel insurance, vaccinations and anti malarial medication, spending money.

Team size -  absolute maximum of 28 people,  and age range is usually 18-75!  Anyone under 18 would need to be accompanied by a parent.

UgandAid and Uganda

UgandAid's primary focus is sponsoring vulnerable young people to receive vocational training at Nile Vocational Institute. The February trips have evolved as a support activity for that relationship with NVI and most of all its students.  However, we also get involved in a whole range of other activities in order to support local communities and give team members wider exposure and experience of Uganda. 

What’s happening on the trip?

Take a look at the attached Uganda trip 2017 update .  Next year the trip will most likely take a similar fomat . At the moment we are very open to how things evolve for Feb 2018.  We will definitely be deeply involved with NVI, do practical and village work and support parallel organisations and projects.

We also enjoy some leisure time, it’s not all hard work. The glorious River Nile with abundant birdlife and beautiful sunsets provides just one of the pleasures of ‘down time’.

General information

This trip is organised by members of the UgandAid team, which is embedded in Altrincham Baptist Church. Its foundations and ethos are Christian, and we are known in Uganda as a Christian group.  We aim to follow God’s will in running UgandAid and our team visits. However, not everyone joining the team shares that belief, and we respect that.  Nobody joining our team is expected to join in any activity (faith based or otherwise) that they don’t feel comfortable with.

Each morning we have a short time of reflection, discussion and a prayer for the day’s activities, the team and the Ugandan people.  We would hope and expect that Christians on the trip would join in that time. Everyone is welcome, but we respect your choice to hold back if you do not share our faith.

We have recently felt we need to provide more general information to people considering joining a trip to Uganda,  before they make the commitment. Joining a team or group activity is very different to independent travel , and whilst that may seem obvious, there have been some misunderstandings in the past.  When asked whether they are a team player, people always answer ‘yes’ .  Experience has sometimes proved otherwise. 

Also, this type of environment is not for everyone , so we are aiming to give as much infomation as possible up front .

We do much of our activity together, particularly in the first few days.  After that we often scatter into various projects during the day. In the evening after our meal we always make time to meet togther as a team, usually in the garden. This is a time to debrief, share experiences, make plans, come up with ideas etc.  It is an important time and we expect everyone to come along and contribute to that.

What can you expect?

A varied, exciting, challenging and immensely enjoyable team visit. A few of us organise these trips motivated by our love for Uganda and the opportunity to help others discover this fascinating country. We try to make the trip as streamlined and comprehensive as possible. Whilst sometimes emotionally and physically tiring, the love and appreciation from Ugandan people is overwhelming and pays back a hundred fold any effort we make.

Uganda is very warm , approx 28-32 degrees and not cooling much at night. The sun can be very strong. It can be dusty, with diesel fumes on the roads,  and smoke from charcoal fires pervades the air.  This may be challenging for people with chest problems.

Whist there is no expectation of super fitness, a little walking in hot weather, climbing in and out of clapped out minibusses and travelling on bumpy roads are all part of the norm. The hotel is simple but comfortable, the food plentiful, mainly familiar to us, and good.

If you have concerns over any of the above , lets talk it through. 

Who are we looking for? 

People often ask ‘what can I do’ or ‘what have I got to offer?’    No specific skills are required. Being brought up and educated in the West equips you far more than you’d believe. Being prepared to get stuck in, be a team player or spend a moment with someone is all it takes.  A smile, handshake or a hug may speak a thousand words.

If your primary focus is likely to be sunbathing, wandering round the shops each day or spending all evening drinking in the bar overlooking the river , maybe this trip isn’t for you – we would recommend a conventional holiday.  Over and above those things, pleasant as they are, we ask you to pitch in,  put other people and the team projects first.

We have a long history in Jinja, and have gained the trust and respect of people over the years. We are observed for our behaviour, even in our relaxation times. We go to great lengths to respect Ugandan culture and ask our team members to take that stance as well.

On a team visit quite often your plans have to change to support others, lend an extra pair of hands or moral support and you don’t always get your first choice.

We ask you to attend a meeting in November (normally a Saturday) with the whole team to learn about the projects and the practicalilties and get to know other team members. Then there is a  further orientation meeting in early January, about a month before departure.   Orientation is as close to ‘compulsory’ as possible, though occasionally illness or other unexpected problems get in the way. 

Many people choose to do fundraising in the few months before departure in their schools, families, workplaces, churches or whatever. We encourage people to do this, though it’s not compulsory.  Once we have details of projects this helps people focus on how we can best raise funds. 

Interested - what should you do now?

Please could you contact one of the UgandAid core team using the "Contact" page to register your interest. We’ll answer any questions and gladly talk further about Uganda and UgandAid (just try stopping us!) We want to ensure everyone has read this document, understood and accepted the context of the trip.   

This is a UgandAid trip and our first priority is the UgandAid sponsored students at Nile Vocational Institute, its staff and the associated trip projects.

Should we be over-subscribed we would have to give first option to newcomers, people who have not visited for a while and people travelling primarily to support the core UgandAid projects. 

Quote from a UgandAid student, February 2016-  “I was nothing, but now I am somebody “